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We aimed to characterise and to identify the predominant plaque type in vivo using unprocessed radiofrequency (RF) intravascular ultrasound (US) backscatter, in remodelled segments of human atherosclerotic coronary arteries. A total of 16 remodelled segments were identified using a 30-MHz intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) scanner in vivo. Of these, 9 segments were classified as positively remodelled (>1.05 of the total vessel area in comparison with the proximal and distal reference segments) and 7 as negatively remodelled (<0.95 of reference segment area). Spectral parameters (maximum power, mean power, minimum power and power at 30 MHz) were determined and plaque type was defined as mixed fibrous, calcified or lipid-rich. Positively remodelled segments had a larger total vessel area (16.5 +/- 1.1 mm2 vs. 8.7 +/- 0.9 mm2, p<0.01) and plaque area (7.3 +/- 1.1 mm2 vs. 4.4 +/- 0.8 mm2, p=0.05) than negatively remodelled segments. Both positively and negatively remodelled segments had a greater percentage of fibrous plaque (p<0.01) than calcified or lipid-rich plaque. Comparing positively and negatively remodelled segments, there was no significant difference between the proportion of fibrous, calcified or lipid-rich plaque. We have been able to characterise and to identify plaque composition in vivo in human atherosclerotic coronary arteries. Our data suggest that remodelled segments are predominantly composed of fibrous plaque, as identified by RF analysis, although plaque composition is similar, irrespective of the remodelling type.

Original publication




Journal article


Ultrasound med biol

Publication Date





155 - 159


Adaptation, Physiological, Aged, Coronary Artery Disease, Coronary Vessels, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Radio Waves, Ultrasonography